Billionaire Australian businessman Clive Palmer has announced that Titanic II will now set sail in 2018. The fully functioning replica of RMS Titanic will be launched 106 years after the original vessel famously came to grief in the North Atlantic. The vessel’s maiden voyage will be from Jiangsu, China, to Dubai. Originally Titanic II was slated to make the journey from Southampton, England, to New York (the route planned for the first ship) by 2016, but this has been delayed.
The Titanic struck an iceberg and sank on its maiden voyage on April 15, 1912, killing 1503 people.
Palmer’s Blue Star Line is building the $600 million Titanic II based on its “unsinkable” predecessor, but has updated the design to meet modern safety requirements. The ship will carry enough lifeboats for every passenger and will also be wider than the original to meet modern maritime safety regulations. The hull will be welded, not riveted like that of the Titanic.
“The new Titanic will of course have modern evacuation procedures, satellite controls, digital navigation and radar systems and all those things you’d expect on a 21st century ship,” James McDonald, Blue Star Line’s marketing director, told the Belfast Telegraph.
Ticket prices are yet to be revealed, but some people have reportedly offered up to $1,200,000 for a spot on the vessel’s maiden voyage.
Palmer is planning to stay true to the class system in place back in 1912 by having separate dining rooms for second and third class. First class passengers will be separated from second and third class in most areas on board.
The new nine-deck ship will be 270m long, slightly more than Titanic, 53m high and will have a maximum speed of 24 knots. She will accommodate 2,400 passengers, 177 more than the Titanic, in 840 cabins and 900 crew.